Photos by Reynaldo Sanchez
MONROEVILLE, Pa. – It turns out promoter Mike Tyson can stir the pot almost as much as heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Almost.
Tyson seemed right at home in his new role as promoter Thursday as he guided his Iron Mike Productions fighters through the final press conference and weigh-in for tomorrow’s ShoBox: The New Generation event.
Friday’s tripleheader airs live on SHOWTIME®, home of 16 of Tyson’s last 18 fights, at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pa., located outside of the Pittsburgh.
Tyson egged on his fighters, enticed trash talking and did his best to create some controversy during the presser before the official weigh-in. In other words, typical Tyson.
“Listen, I don’t want to hear you guys talk about respect for each other,’’ Tyson said. “I want to hear what you guys are going to do to each other tomorrow night. I want to hear that you’re going to knock him out.
“Don’t worry about making weight. Listen, we’re only talking about a few pounds here. I fought as a heavyweight and it didn’t matter. This is boxing. We’re here to see some people beat each other up tomorrow. Weight doesn’t matter; we’re here to watch you fight.
“I’m excited to have such a great card and exciting event for my return to SHOWTIME. We’re a very young organization but we’re moving pretty fast.”
Hard-hitting Cuban lightweight Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado (18-0, 16 KOs), of Miami, Fla., weighed in at 131.6 pounds for his 10-round main event showdown with Pittsburgh-area crowd favorite “Lightning” Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), who tipped the scales at 132.6 pounds.
Undefeated southpaw and Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., by way of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, measured 139.6 pounds while Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Ghana, weighed in at 142.7 pounds for their eight-round junior welterweight bout.
Local favorite and war veteran Sammy Vasquez, Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), of Monesson, Pa., weighed in at 146.8 pounds for his eight-round welterweight showdown with fellow unbeaten Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez, Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), of Union City, N.J., who tipped the scale at 148 pounds.